Sunday, February 6, 2011

War and Temple

The opposite of War is not Peace but the Temple. But then Peace and Temple are really the same thing.

This thought came to me while studying and pondering the scriptures. It began with D&C 38 where the Lord warns of wars in far countries that are soon to come upon this nation (:29). Then the great counsel that "if ye are prepared ye shall not fear" (:30). And how do we prepare? This is the first section that talks about gathering to a specific place - Ohio - eventually with more specificity as Kirtland.  And for what purpose? "To be endowed with power from on high" (:32). This was accomplished in the Kirtland Temple when there was a great outpouring of the Spirit and manifestations from on high.  (D&C 109 and 110).  And I saw that pattern again in Section 109 linking verses 27 and 28 about the Lord fighting our battles with the annointings and endowments in verse 35.  So I drew a line with a blue pencil connecting those verses.  And I went back to Section 138 and drew the blue line from "war" in verse 29 to "endowed" in verse 32.  Blue being my favorite color besides an appropriate hue for "peace."

Then I wondered if this connection of "Temple" being the solution to "war" could be found anywhere else.  I first went to one of my favorite scriptures about renouncing war and proclaiming peace (verse 16 in Section 98) to see if there was anything about the Temple nearby.  Well, how about the same verse?  It was one of those electric shocks when I realized it was in the second half of that verse, which is what we are to do after we renounce war - "turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children" and which I had never understood as to how that connected with renouncing war.  The shock came to me that this was about the Temple.  That is the Spirit of Elijah "turning the hearts" (by restoring those keys in the Kirtland Temple by the way.  See D&C 110 ) which is family history work and sacred ordinances in their behalf in the Temple.

So I started going through the references to "war" or related terms in the index to the Doctrine and Covenants, and I kept my blue pencil handy: Section 45 blue line from :26 to :32 and :68  (not to much of a stretch to link "standing in holy places" and "Zion" to Temples); Section 63 linking :23 to :33; Section 87 rather powerfully (since the Section is about "War") blue line from :6 to :8; and Section 95 linking "endowment" in :8 as the opposite of contention in :10.

And, of course I had to check other books of scripture.  Starting with the Book of Mormon, I get to 2 Nephi Chapter 12, one of the Isaiah sections, and have one of those forehead-slapping "doh!" moments.  The classic scripture about the Lord's House being established in the top of the mountains goes right into beating swords into plowshares because they will learn war no more. (Isaiah 2).

There are a few more of this references, perhaps most notably in Joseph Smith - Matthew and Matthew 24 in the New Testament.  But I'm sure I haven't found them all, especially the more subtle ones.  So I'm glad to have any help with this from anyone out there.

So, personally I see the Temple being the solution to war and the appropriate, ultimately the only escape.  War is all about death and the loss of life, family life, and potential life that result when young men are cut down in their prime.  It also can destroy whole cities, nations and even our entire planet with all life upon it.  Besides the obvious peace that is found in the Temple apart from our busy world in a sacred place, the Temple is all about life, eternal life, continuation of life, and sealing families together across all generations of mankind - the exact opposite of the results of war.

One of the most peaceful Temple sites I ever visited was that of the once designated and future Temple at Far West, Missouri.  I was there one evening when absolutely no one else was around, at least that I could see with my natural eyes.  It was the warm breeze and I alone on that green and pleasant hill.  I knelt down, reached under the plexi-glass cover, and touched the southeast corner stone.  I felt a link across the generations.  Let us proclaim peace and turn the hearts.

1 comment:

  1. I had a similar occurrence visiting the Nauvoo Temple site in the summer of 1992. The new temple had not been built, and the site was surrounded by maple trees. The site sloped in towards the center, and was grassy and serene. I was the only one there, physically, and it was one of the most sacred moments I've ever had in my life. It was hallowed and sacred ground, it was peace.


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